IBF stands for Information Bridge Framework

The Information Bridge Framework helps connect your backend LOB apps to the front end tools that you use the most - Microsoft Office. In marketing terms, it would reduce costs by providng faster discovery of information and better integration by making the data from the business systems directly available in the Office Applications.

Starting from Office 2003, the MS Office provides support for Smart Tags and Smart Panes. The IBF leverages these features and uses them so that the users can directly start the business functions directly from the Office Tools. For eg. Lets say a customer service executive recieves an email that mentions about a particular service request with its Id and then asks about its status. Because, the MS Office systems are connected to the backend LOB Apps, the MS Outlook immediately detects the service request number and provides a smart tag to it (The dotted underline to a word that you might've seen in several Office Documents). To get a glimpse of what a smart tag is, try typing in a place name in MS Word Document such as "Seattle". MS Word immediately recongnises it as a place. Going ahead in our case, as the executive clicks the smart tag, he can find various actions that he can perform on it. The actions, for instance, can be "Get details for this service request", "Set Priority for this request" or something even more complex like - "Create service request status doc". Once the executive selects an action, the IBF gets into action and using the web services based middle-tier logic, connects to the end systems to perform required actions on the LOB Apps.

Looks interesting right?

Get to know more about this framework @ -

More posts would of course follow.

--Sanket Bakshi